Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Some people report improved health from money-saving tactics, but financial stress can make it harder to embrace healthy habits.

By Teresa Mears Jun 9, 2010 2:36PM

Here's a new survey that tells us something we could have told them: Being frugal can be good for your health.

 

First Command's monthly financial survey of 1,000 families making more than $50,000 per year found that 49% of the respondents believe that their frugal habits are making them healthier, and 45% believe that some of their frugal habits are making them healthier. Only 6% said frugality was making them less healthy.

 

Formulas from Tide deliver the cleanest clothes. Martha Stewart detergent finishes last in tests.

By Karen Datko Jun 9, 2010 2:24PM

This post comes from partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

The latest Consumer Reports tests of more than 50 laundry detergents continue to show that buying a high-priced product doesn't guarantee cleaner clothes.

Formulas from Tide topped ratings of conventional and high-efficiency formulas, but there are other, less-expensive formulas from manufacturers such as Gain that offer comparable cleaning.

 

New options let travelers catch a movie for less than $5.

By Karen Datko Jun 9, 2010 12:41PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

Travelers stuck at the airport this summer can catch up on their favorite movies and TV shows, thanks to low-cost rentals popping up in terminals and other budget-friendly on-the-go options.

 

Starting this month, NCR Corp. -- the company behind Blockbuster Express movie-rental kiosks -- will be installing digital download kiosks at 57 InMotion Entertainment airport stores at 35 airports. Travelers will be able to download their choice of thousands of new and older titles, for an average cost of $4 apiece. The download disappears after 30 days, or 48 hours after the file is opened. Earlier this week, Netflix announced a free streaming video app for subscribers, which will be available once the new Apple iPhone 4G launches this summer.

Odds are good that travelers will need a little extra entertainment at the gate or on the plane.

 

There are so many ways your old paid-for car is saving you serious money, and 'incestuous affirmation' is not your problem.

By Karen Datko Jun 9, 2010 8:23AM

This post comes from Kentin Waits at partner blog Wise Bread.

 

I've always been slightly amazed how the new-car market is so readily embraced. I know it takes all those new-car buyers to allow us used-car shoppers the luxury of so much inventory. I just want to stay in the ranks of the latter, not the former.

Most people realize that buying new often makes little financial sense, yet they justify it through a whole host of rationalizations. Even the federal government jumped on the bandwagon last year by suggesting we all needed to grind up our clunkers and buy new instead -- for the sake of the national economy and the environment, no less. Was the result a whole fleet of new fuel-efficient cars on the road, or increased consumer debt and the loss of thousands of serviceable older vehicles?

 

At the risk of sounding like I suffer from an acute case of sour grapes, I'd like to explore just seven ways in which my old clunker may be a smarter choice than even the newest hybrid.

 

The $250 checks are the first step in closing the dreaded 'doughnut hole' in Medicare prescription drug coverage.

By Karen Datko Jun 8, 2010 5:13PM

This week the federal government will begin sending out $250 checks to Medicare recipients who have reached the dreaded "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug coverage. Recipients can thank health care reform for the extra help. 

 

If you are eligible -- more on that below -- you don't have to apply for the $250 rebate. So, if anyone is offering you an application to qualify or to expedite the money, that person is out to steal your personal information. 

Are you going to get a check? We've heard from a dear octogenarian friend of ours that confusion exists about the who, what, when and how of this new benefit. Here's what you need to know:

 

Wrigley agrees to pay consumers of Eclipse gum and quit saying that it kills germs. A complaint against Trident is pending.

By Teresa Mears Jun 8, 2010 2:02PM

If you have chewed Wrigley's Eclipse gum in the last two years, you're eligible for up to $10 as part of a class-action settlement (.pdf file) over advertising claims.

 

What? You mean it didn't really kill the germs that cause bad breath?

 

Maybe it did. Maybe it didn't. Wrigley had claimed that an ingredient in the gum, magnolia bark extract, killed germs. But the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit said the studies were flawed and there was no scientific proof that magnolia bark extract, a substance used in Chinese medicine for a variety of conditions, killed germs that cause bad breath.

As part of the settlement Wrigley, which did its own research, agreed to quit making those claims and refund up to $6 million to consumers who bought the gum.

 

You can't price colleges like cars. Few pay the 'sticker' price and there are lots of ways to get discounts.

By Stacy Johnson Jun 8, 2010 1:56PM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.

 

Judging by the headlines, it's easy to believe the cost of college puts it out of reach for all but the most affluent. According to the College Board, average annual tuition at a four-year private college now tops $26,000. If you just look at the sticker price, four years at a private university approaches the cost of a Rolls Royce.

But that doesn't mean only the rich need apply. While the sticker price may be $26,000, the College Board adds that the average price actually paid at those private colleges is less than $9,000. How can that be?

 

Get your stuff from Point A to Point B without spending a fortune.

By Karen Datko Jun 8, 2010 12:36PM

This Deal of the Daycomes fromKelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

Packing this time of year isn't limited to summer vacations. More Americans than ever are gearing up for a move.

Roughly 16.7 million households move annually, according to the Census Bureau, and a little less than half do so in the summer months. Last year, that added up to more than 37 million people, up from slightly more than 35 million in 2008.

 

Does that mean summer is the most expensive time of year to move?

 

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More